Doing business with the public sector can help grow your business financially and provide stability while allowing you to expand into other regions and partner with other companies.
If you’re new to government bidding, it can seem very overwhelming at first. You may not know how to even start or what’s required to bid on a government contract. In this article, we will provide you with 5 simple steps to help you get started working with the public sector.
The very first thing you’ll want to do is to register your business with the state of the physical location of your business; you will not be able to bid on any opportunities until you do so. Most state procurement websites will provide you with the information you need to register your business to begin bidding. If you plan on bidding in other states, you will need to register with them as well.
The second thing you’ll want to do is to register for a D-U-N-S number. The D-U-N-S number, which stands for Data Universal Numbering System, is a nine-digit unique identifier for your business that allows both government agencies and other businesses to easily identify and access pertinent information about your company.
If your business qualifies as a small or disadvantaged business, it is highly suggested to get your certification. Governments acknowledge the importance of working with small and disadvantaged businesses and will award certain acquisitions exclusively to SBE (Small Business Enterprise) certified businesses. These are called set-aside contracts and they help small businesses to win more government contracts. You can find more information about the certification process at certify.sba.gov.
Don’t forget to check your state’s procurement website to see if they have certain programs for certified businesses. It would be most beneficial for your business, especially if you’re new to the bidding process.
The government uses product and service category codes to help businesses determine which opportunities are suitable to bid on. It is important to determine which codes relate to your line of business. This is required when registering your business to bid and helps when searching for relevant opportunities.
You will also want to determine the locations you are willing to work in. Will you only be able to bid in your area? Or can you expand your business into multiple regions or across state lines? The larger the area you can do business in, the more opportunities you will receive.
Choosing a bidding intelligence service such as Periscope S2G can help you determine your commodity codes and areas in which you would like to receive bids in. The bid specialists at Periscope S2G can help you set up your account and pick the best package for your business.
This is where many businesses get stuck. Being updated and compliant with forms and documents requested by government agencies is an extremely important process. A supplier will sometimes not even be considered for an opportunity if this section of the registration is not complete. You will want to prepare yourself to have important documents ready, such as your W-9, proof of insurance, contractor license, e-verify information, minority certifications, and anything else when you register to be a vendor. This section in the registration differs from government to government. Some may ask for one or two compliance documents to upload, and some may ask for 10 or more and may have their own documents to download, fill out and upload into the online registration system. To better prepare yourself, it’s recommended to keep a file on your computer with all the important documents that may be needed when registering with governments. If you have any questions about the compliance documents, you can certainly contact the buyer for help. The bid specialists at Periscope S2G can also guide you with compliance documents.
When you finally find a bid you are interested in, and you receive the bid notice and all the accompanying documents, make sure to thoroughly read through it. You do not want to miss anything important like a mandatory site visit, the need to obtain certain licenses or bonds, or the due date for inquiries and the bid proposal. These documents will also provide you with the contract specs, the timeframe in which the contract must be fulfilled, whether subcontractors can be used, or any number of other requirements. You don’t want to lose out on a contract because you didn’t know what was expected or because of a simple technicality, like not having the right license or submitting the wrong forms. Once you feel confident you can fulfill the contract and it is the right opportunity for your business, you can submit your proposal.
Periscope S2G can help you find hundreds of matching bids for your business and alert you via email, so you do not miss any matching opportunities in your area. You can search past and current bids by keywords and use the “favorites” tool to keep organized with the bids you want to work on. With a specialized bidding package, you will receive bid alerts from government entities like local school districts, counties, and cities, plus other lesser-known entities such as water districts, transit authorities, park districts and hospitals.
Government bidding can seem very daunting, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or consume a large portion of your business’s resources. Following these simple steps can help you begin your journey into the public sector and allow your business to be successful at winning as many opportunities as you can handle! Never miss a bid opportunity in your area with Periscope S2G. Get started with your bid package today by calling 800-990-9339 or email us to schedule a demo at S2G@periscopeholdings.com.